Redfin is expanding its Direct Access Home tours to more markets, meaning buyers will be able to view vacant homes without an agent present in more parts of the U.S.
The company said it’s bringing Direct Access to 22 new markets via a new partnership with the security firm ADT, which will install smart home devices that provide secure access to prospective buyers at their scheduled appointment times, as well as 24/7 monitoring.
Direct Access allows interested persons to tour a vacant home without an agent present. All they have to do is select a time to tour the property in the Redfin app, and when they arrived they can unlock the door using that app. ADT will provide smart locks and security sensors for each home in the program, ensuring buyers can enter the home and tour it without risk. Sellers will be able to monitor who enters and exits their home by remote.
The program isn’t new. Redfin first launched Direct Access for vacant seller homes in a number of markets last year, partly to counter coronavirus restrictions. However, the company says the idea has proven to be very successful, with Direct Access program homes being toured twice as often on average as homes that are not in the program. As such, Redfin wants to roll out the service to every U.S. market where it operates.
Redfin Chief Technology Officer Bridge Frey said Direct Access benefits buyers as much as sellers. She noted that in today’s hot market, as many as a third of Redfin’s listings sell within just one week, which means buyers need to get out and see the homes they’re interested in as fast as they can.
“Direct Access makes it simple to tour our seller’s homes conveniently and safely without having to coordinate with an agent to schedule a showing, driving double the foot traffic that leads to offers for our sellers,” she said.
Frey added that the ability for buyers to self-tour a home without an agent present would have seemed “outlandish” just a decade ago. But she said advances in automation and smart home technology mean it’s now possible to do so, conveniently and safely.
“Our new partnership with ADT gives customers confidence their home is protected by the most trusted brand in smart home security,” she said.
For sellers, not only can they sell their home more easily, they also get to market the ADT smart home security system as an additional feature. When the home is sold, buyers will be able to keep the pre-installed smart lock, ADT security panel and the sensors, which have a combined value of $899. Buyers will, however, need to pay a subscription for ADT’s smart home security services in order to activate the devices.
ADT Chief Revenue Officer Keith Holmes said his company is thrilled to partner with Redfin on the Direct Access program.
“This is a win-win situation for home buyers and sellers who get a professionally installed ADT smart home security system and the peace of mind provided by our U.S.-based network of security monitoring professionals,” he said. “We’re eager to welcome new Redfin homebuyers to the ADT family.”
Redfin also promises to take other precautions before allowing buyers on self-guided tours. For example, it will verify the identity of each prospective buyer prior to the tour, and employ geofencing technology to monitor when those buyers enter and exit each home. Additionally, the company says each home in the program is insured, with coverage of up to $100,000 for damages that occur during a self-guided home tour.